Moving House!

Sunday 7 December 2014

We finally did it! After literally two years of anxiety, heartbreak, disappointment and frustration, we moved into our new house last Saturday.

I can't say I actually felt excited at all, more relieved that the process was finally over. I can honestly say the whole thing has been beyond stressful and has pretty much taken over our lives for far too long.

We've had all manner of bad things happen. Missing out on houses we loved because we didn't have a buyer for ours. Losing buyers because we couldn't find a house we loved (timing is everything). Having buyers drop out. Having sellers threatening to drop out.

Plus, moving house became a black hole of money, unexpected costs are everywhere. The whole thing has been an utter nightmare and we're still pretty raw about it all but....we're here, and that's something I was beginning to doubt I'd ever be able to write.

This is all we've focused on for so long, it feels odd not to be worrying anymore.

We wanted to trade up from our small, two bedroom house to something more spacious and future-proof, and we've finally got there.

The new house so far has been a bit of an experience so far. Its so much larger than where we’ve come from, just getting used to the scale of it is weird. There are four light switches in the hall alone, and a whole floor I’ve barely been on since we moved in five days ago.

It does feel a little like we’re rattling around in here, but I’m sure we’ll soon fill it up!

A Week Before The Move

It would be no exaggeration to say this was probably the worst week of my life.

Our seller was a big time property landlord who lives in London and he’s been a bit of an arse the whole way through the process.

Although the transaction took three months, which is pretty quick for a sale in a chain, he was pushy and demanding all the way through.

He said that he would pull out unless we exchanged contracts in a week’s time, so we were frantic trying to get it all through in time to meet his ridiculous deadline.

At that point, its all in the hands of your solicitors, so short of phoning them desperately every day, there’s not much that you can do anyway, which made it incredibly stressful.

You’re also depending on your own sale to go through in time, so there’s not much you can control about it. We were so tense all week praying things would click into place.

Work has been quite full on as well, which didn’t help. It all got too much one day and I ended up crying at my desk, which was quite embarrassing. There have also been tears in the shower! It was a very bleak week, I felt like I was at breaking point and beyond. I’ve never been under so much stress in my life. I aged about ten years in that one week.

On deadline day, I was at a conference with no signal. Everytime there was a break I was dashing upstairs to call the solicitor. It just scraped through at about quarter to five when I’d given up hope.

When it went through, I guess I should have been happy but I just felt numb. Seb was out with his work friends that night, so we couldn’t even celebrate together, not that I would have felt much like it. I bought a tub of frozen yoghurt and ate it alone on the sofa like a loser!

So, then we had a week between exchanging and completing, which is when all the money transfers and you actually move.

Even though we’ve been hoping for this moment for so long, we were so unsure it would go through in time, we hadn’t packed much.

So the next week was a mad rush to get everything organised to move. We were so tired and burnt out, the last thing you feel like doing after work is bubble wrapping all your glass ware.

But there we were. I had all these visions of carefully numbered crates but it turned into a total free for all in the end.

We definitely had more stuff than I realised. I wanted to burn half of it when I was stuck packing it all!

It was horrid being surrounded by boxes in every room for a week, the house was chaos and I couldn’t relax at all.

Moving Day

The day finally dawned. Like most big occasions, we were so hyped up the night before, we didn’t sleep much, so we were already tired and on the back foot on the day.

We had decided to rent a van and move ourselves, rather than using a removal firm. It didn’t seem like we had all that much large furniture, and we were only moving a few streets away really – but mainly we did it to save money, as we ended up paying out so much more than we thought on legal fees and taxes.

We were geared up for a day of frantic action, and we’d roped in a couple of helpers. We picked the van up as soon as the rental place open, loaded it and our cars up and then….nothing.

That was all we could do until we got the keys to the new house, as we needed to unload the van and come back for more. But you don’t get the keys until all the money goes through!

In the end, that didn’t happen until quarter to three! So there was all this time in the middle where we were sat around doing jaff all! That was something we didn’t expect and it was extremely frustrating to be sat there, knowing we had so much to get on with and we couldn’t.

When it finally all went through we had a manic rush to race and pick up keys, unload the van, get back to the old house and load up again. And in our case, luckily the house we were moving to was empty, and our buyers weren’t moving in straight away either. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been if we had people waiting outside to get in as well.

Leaving our old house for the last time was so hard. We were so busy, I thought I’d be okay, but locking up for the last time really broke my heart and I was in floods of tears.

Buying our first house back in 2008
We have so many happy memories in that place, and we did love it there. I’ve lived there since I was 23 and in a lot of ways, it was the first time I’d felt properly at home since my parents split up when I was 18 and they sold the family home. I was away at university, so I lived between that and my dad’s new place for a few years, and then Seb and I rented a flat together, but when we bought our first house I finally had roots somewhere. So leaving that was hard.

It was getting dark by the time we’d finally unloaded everything, so we made sure we sorted out our bed and basically just got into it, we were so tired.

New Beginnings

Day dawned on the new house, and even though I’d cried so much over leaving the old place, I didn’t feel as homesick as I thought I would.

The chaos of stripping woodchip revealed!

The past few days have been hard work though. Unpacking all the essentials and washing or wiping them all down (everything gets mysteriously grimy, even if you only move round the corner) and we’d also decided to decorate the living room and dining room right away.

People thought we were mad and I can see why. We had to strip off several layers of very tasteful woodchip wallpaper in two large rooms, sand down and prep all the surfaces, give it two undercoats of white, a top coat and caulk the whole lot.

It has taken four days, all day to do this and now everything aches. But I’m glad because it feels so much more ours now we’ve made a mark on it.

Plus woodchip is so vile! Sadly, we have another two floors of it to strip out eventually…. But for now, that can wait. We went for a gorgeous paint colour called ‘Earl Grey’ that is like a mink colour and I love it.

I’m not going to share any pictures just yet because we still have a lot to do, but when rooms are complete, I’ll do a little tour post for each. It will be gradual though. This house is going to be a huge project.

So we’re finally a bit more settled, there are still a few boxes but luckily we have enough spare rooms to just shove them in there and shut the door!

Our friends and family have been amazing and so much help. Doing everything from driving vans and hefting boxes to making us casseroles and cake to keep us going. We have had some lovely cards and gift baskets too.

And the new neighbours are so lovely too – they all came over to say hello. The lady next door I had met briefly before when we came to look round. She gave me a big hug and said she was so pleased we’d moved in and that the neighbours there have girls nights that she invited me along to! She also brought us some bubbles round, bless her.

So they really made us feel welcome and I think there’s a real community around here.

We’re really tired but happy and settling in. Here's to new beginnings!


  1. Oh wow you've had a busy time :D congratulations on your new home, you must be so happy to be in there ready for Christmas xx

    Gemma // Miss Makeup Magpie

    1. Thank you Gemma, that's really kind. I'm so relieved! And yes, just in time for Christmas! x

  2. I loved so much reading this, and I wish you all the best lovely! :) xx

    Gyudy's Notes Of Beauty

    1. Thank you lovely, moving has been taking over my life lately, so it didn't feel right not to post about it! x

  3. I've been wanting to ask you about this but I haven't seen you around at work. So glad it all went through and you're in!

    1. Thank you Kerry! I've just been in a little hole of stress, still pinching myself that we're finally in after all the troubles we've had. x